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ORLANDO-GDC Properties of Hawthorne, NY, no stranger to the multifamily market in Florida, has its newest $30 million, 338-unit, eight-story Orlando venture up for review today before the influential Orlando Municipal Planning Board. That group’s recommendation goes to city council for a final vote in August.

The undertaking is being built at a development cost of $88,757 per unit.

GDC’s project, Orlando Uptown, joins a growing legion of 2,000 new apartment units built or proposed in the Downtown sector over the past two years.

Besides hoping to getting the development green light from the city, GDC still has to close on the 3.6-acre site with a local investor syndicate headed by Clifford Stein.

Stein’s group bought the dirt from lenders of Olympia & York Corp. at an undisclosed price in the early 1990s when the Toronto-based developer sold or gave up properties after it couldn’t meet mortgage payments.

Olympia & York had planned a second 19-story, 400,000-sf office tower but couldn’t arrange the funding. The original Olympia Place building was renamed One Orlando Centre 10 years ago when Stein’s group bought the property.

Area brokers familiar with Downtown land prices tell GlobeSt.com the 3.6-acre pad will go for at least $1 million per acre ($23 per sf) or a total $3.6 million.

GDC plans to build two parking garages and develop 20,000 sf of retail around the apartment complex at 800 N. Orange Ave., just north of the main Downtown sector. Rents are projected at $700 to $1,800 per month, comparable to prices at recently completed nearby apartment communities such as the 303-unit Echelon at Cheney Place and the 244-unit Echelon at Uptown.

The project is expected to be a three-year buildout with possible ground-breaking in first quarter 2003, area brokers intimate with the venture tell GlobeSt.com. GDC officials and Stein couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline.

Besides the Orlando Uptown undertaking, GDC is completing the 209-unit Mirasol at Celebration apartment community in Celebration, FL, 20 miles south of Downtown Orlando.

The company also owns/operates the 238-unit Courtney Place built in 1998 at 4300 S. Kirman Road, southwest Orlando; and the restored Hawthorne Village, 9917 Turf Way off Central Florida Parkway.

In South Florida, the New York developer developed Courtney Village Apartments in Royal Palm Beach, FL; the 272-unit, one-year-old Preserve at Coconut Creek, FL; and the 258-unit, four-year-old Enclave at Doral in northwest Miami.

In the Tampa, FL market, GDC has developed the three-year-old, 228-unit Hawthorne Place in suburban Brandon.

Waiting for a similar Municipal Planning Board review is Longwood, FL developer Royall Construction. Royall plans a 10-story, 276-unit apartment community on the east side of Orange Avenue near Colonial Drive, just south of the GDC site.

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